The psi warrior fighter class is introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, creating a jedi-like, telekinetic fighter for DnD 5e. These fighters can use telekinetic powers to enhance movement, create shields of force and increase combat damage. For this build, I’ll need a melee fighter with high Intelligence.
When building a psi warrior fighter in DnD 5e, consider the following:
- Choose a race for combat and Intelligence
- Play as a wizard bodyguard or lone swordsman
- Utilize basic fighter class abilities
- Learn telepathic abilities in Psi Warrior subclass
If you’d like a premade campaign to play your Psi Warrior, check out my pirate adventure below.
Choose a race for combat and Intelligence
Two solid character race choices for this build are high elf and hobgoblin.
High elves gain a +2 Dexterity/+1 Intelligence bonus, meaning they can wield finesse weapons and tap into high Intelligence scores for telekinesis. Fey Ancestry grants them advantage against being charmed and immunity to sleep spells. Plus, I’ll gain a bonus cantrip form the wizard’s spell list—of course, I’ll choose something like mage hand.
Hobgoblin is also a solid choice, gaining +2 Constitution/+1 Intelligence. These monstrous characters come with a samurai vibe in DnD 5e—perfect for a mystical lone swordsman. Plus, their sense of nobility gives them the Saving Face ability, which adds a bonus to a saving throw or ability check. This bonus is equal to the amount of allies I can see within 30 feet.
Play as a wizard bodyguard or lone swordsman
I’ll consider a background for this character that is mysterious. Maybe my fighter is quiet by nature, connected to a past as mysterious as he or she. High Intelligence scores suggest a more regal warrior than a typical mercenary or gladiator. Therefore, I’ll play as a lone swordsman or magical bodyguard.
A telepathic, lone swordsman can appear monk-like, something like a blind ronin of Japanese legend. I’ll choose a katana as my main weapon, with the Dueling Fighting Style adding +2 to damage rolls. I’ll also wear scale armor, something of medium weight. For skill proficiencies, I’ll choose Insight and History to fit my character’s role and high Intelligence score.
On the other hand, I could have fun with a bodyguard character. Powerful wizards always need tanks when a threat comes knocking—this is DnD combat 101. Therefore, a telepathic warrior could fit this mold as a personal assistant and protector to a friendly wizard. This psi warrior build will be heavier, utilizing a longsword, shield and heavy armor. I’ll choose the Protection Fighting Style to keep my buddy safe, imposing disadvantage on enemy attacks against them when I have my shield.
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Utilize basic fighter class abilities
The extra telekinetic perks are great and all, but don’t forget the basic fighter class abilities. Used together with special psi abilities, Action Surge and Second Wind can be effective.
Second Wind gives me the option to take a breather and gain some HP back during combat. This HP recovery equals 1d10 + my fighter level. This is actually better than a 1st-level cure wounds. However, this ability is only offered once a day. Therefore, I’ll need to save it for tight situations.
Action Surge grants me an extra action once a day at level 2. This means I can push through intense battles, possibly gaining one more attack against a difficult enemy before dropping. Or I can gain an extra movement if I need to run away. Sometimes, you just gotta run away.
After gaining my Martial Archetype at level 3 and Ability Score Improvement at level 4, I’ll get an Extra Attack at level 5. This means that each turn gives me a move action, possible bonus action and 2 attacks when I take the attack action. Throw in Action Surge on a tough opponent and I’m able to dish out another 2 attacks.
Finally, the basic fighter class’s ultimate ability is Indominable at level 9, which lets me reroll a failed saving throw. At first, I can only use this once a day. However, starting at level 13, I gain extra uses. This maxes out at level 17 with 3 uses per long rest.
A bonus ability in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is Martial Versatility, which allows me to change my fighting style or a battle maneuver.
Learn telepathic abilities in Psi Warrior subclass
At level 3, my psionic abilities manifest, granting me 4d6 Psionic Energy Dice. Why they didn’t just call them Psi dice I’ll never understand. However, using these Psionic Energy Dice grants me incredible telekinetic feats. Plus, they grow to d8’s at level 5, d10’s at level 11 and d12’s at level 17.
My first 3 abilities are:
- Protective Field: I can create a protective forcefield for myself or another within 30 feet. When I roll a Psionic Energy die, I can subtract the number plus my Intelligence modifier from the damage dealt. This move is done as a reaction.
- Psionic Strike: I can propel my weapons with telekinesis, dealing extra damage and turning a melee weapon into a ranged one. The extra damage is force damage equal to the number rolled plus my Intelligence modifier.
- Telekinetic Movement: I can move an object or ally within 30 feet to an unoccupied square. The object must be large or smaller. Unfortunately, I can’t also do this to enemies and just drop them off high places. However, this effectively gives me the ability to levitate friends and retrieve items from far away.
Level 7 grants me the Telekinetic Adept set of abilities, using the newly enhanced d8 Psionic Dice.
- Psi-Powered Leap: As a bonus action, I can propel myself with my mind. This is the moment where I use that Telekinetic Movement to grant myself flying until end of turn.
- Telekinetic Thrust: When I deal damage with Psionic Strike, I can force my opponent to roll a Strength saving throw. This DC is 8 + proficiency + Intelligence modifier. On a failed roll, I push the target back 10 feet and knock the target prone.
Higher-Level Psi Warrior Abilities
Guarded Mind comes at level 10, giving me resistance to psychic damage. Plus, I can end the effects of being charmed or frightened by spending a Psionic Die.
At level 15, I gain Bulwark of Force, which grants half cover for me and most of my allies. The amount of people I can cover is equal to my Intelligence modifier, and the effect lasts for 1 minute.
Finally, level 18 makes me a Telekinetic Master, giving me the ability to cast telekinesis without using components. On top of this, I can make a weapon attack as a bonus action while focusing on this spell. This bonus attack even takes place on the turn I cast the spell.
To sum it up
The psi warrior is a highly capable archetype within the fighter class. The ranged capability and extra damage of Psionic Strike mixed with shielding effects of Bulwark of Force and Protective Field open options for a swordsman character. What better abilities to complement a single-weapon sword fighter or even a protective tank?
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